Clootie Dumpling (Spiced Fruit Dumpling)
- Take a 22" square of clean cotton or linen cloth. Boil the cloth for a few minutes and then spread it out on a table (use tongs etc. to prevent burning yourself). Quickly sprinkle with about a tablespoonful of flour and toss the flour to coat the main centre of the cloth quite thickly.
- Beat the treacle into the eggs and then place into a bowl with the remaining flour and all the other ingredients. Mix to a stiff consistency. If needed, add a little orange juice.
- Pour the dough into the center of the cloth. Bring up the edges and tie with a string, leaving a little space for expansion due to the inclusion of the baking powder. Hold the tied ends and pat the cloth into a round shape.
- Place the pudding into a pot of boiling water, which should come halfway up the side. Cover and simmer gently for 4 hours. Occasionally check and top up the water if necessary.
- Once the pudding is cooked plunge it into cold water for about one minute to release it from the cloth. Remove the pudding to a bowl and untie, cover with a plate and reverse it. Peel off the cloth and place the pudding into a hot oven to dry off the surface. Serve hot with your choice of dessert sauce - custard, brandy butter, hard sauce, etc.
- Any left-over Clootie dumpling may be sliced, then fried, or wrapped in foil and reheated in a warm oven, or loosely covered with paper towel and reheated in a microwave.